Monday, August 30, 2004

snap, crackle, pop and blog

I wake up this morning and I go straight to this blog. I forgo the typical snap, crackle n' pop breakfast for a coffee and a blog. This is where I'll have to get my momentum for the day.

I wake up feeling rested as I've finally gotten around to rehearsals for my show DISLOCATED LIPS. My director found out a couple of months ago that she was accepted into a mask making program in Italy, making her the proverbial offer that she couldn't refuse. (MASK MAKING FROM THE MAFIA !!) She just got back a week ago and we had our first full fledged rehearsal yesterday. Whew !! I'd been feeling stressed out, having only been working on the text of the play. Over the past two months I've been working on re-writes with a couple editors and over the past three weeks I've been trying to commit the play to memory. Under the weight of all this stress I started making popping noises in my sleep.

A pop-corn machine is a central image in DISLOCATED LIPS and when the pop-corn machine pops up in the play I make popping sounds with tight lips. I've been practicing this sound a lot and somehow it found it's way into my less than restive sleep. My girlfriend said it looked kind of cute though, so I guess there's no harm done. (See I'm an actor and I appreciate being the center of attention even in my sleep.)

Well the rehearsals are underway and that's a huge relief. I saw some great snippets of other Fringe shows on Granville Island last Saturday night at The Bowling Cabaret. John Murphy and his friend Lee ???? (I was quite a few beers into the evening by this point) were very, very funny. I've seen John perform in Vancouver at various locations over the past four years and he's always brilliantly hilarious with whatever he puts his hand to. So TROUBLE AT THE PORK AND STRICK, which he's directing, is sure to be a hit. The Saturday night Cabaret ended with a song and dance number which lived up to expectations.

On the topic of other must-sees: KILLING CEASAR, which features John Murphy among a cast of very talented actors, looks wonderfully warped. I had the good fortune of listening in on a writing session for PATTI FEDY IN... THE HUNT, before Anita and Emilia left for the Winnipeg Fringe festival, and the pieces that I heard were very funny. Finally while I'm on a roll here, TJ DAWE will also make you laugh your head off, legs off, arms off, leaving you with nothing but a funny bone in: CURSE OF THE TRICKSTER. I haven't really combed through the guide yet but these are a couple of shows that stand out so far.

I shall endeavor to write a little everyday with updates of how my Fringing is coming along. I also write a short, short story everyday on my website and over the past couple of weeks I've set my stories in the world of my play. I thought since I was blogging I would try to connect these stories to my blogs too. So on the topic of waking up and possibly finding that you've been transformed into a cockroach here goes nothing...


When Tom was a dirty, rotten teen-ager he'd sing with his friends in a mocking tone intended to piss off his older sisters: "I'd rather be a cockroach than a snail, yes I would if I couuuuuuld I surely would !!" All three of his older sisters loved every single Simon and Garfunkle song; Tom and his friends hated all the S and G songs which reeked of sentiment and love but this one in particular. His sisters pretended to be angered by this irrreverence but really they got a kick out of it.

For some reason this all comes back to Tom as he sits patiently, listening to his students at the Language Construction Zone, a small ESL school on the edge of down-town Vancouver.

A cockroach is slowing making its way across the floor and Tom feels a slight twinge of remorse over having tried to ruin his sister's favorite song twenty some odd years ago.

"When I was a high-school I was always tired," Min-Jung said with a severe seriousness and certainty that refused questioning.

"When you were IN high-school you mean ?" Tom corrects. "Nobody can be a high-school. That's pretty much impossible."

Min-Jung thanks him for the correction and continues on with her story while the cockroach slowly makes it's way across the floor. It's impossible for anyone to know but the astonishing thing is that very cockroach was in it's previous life a giant Douglas Fir in the down-town Vancouver area. The tree was taken down by a team of five lumber-jacks and some of it's wood was turned into a small one-room school house.

"When I was a high-school I was tired all the time," the cockroach - who's very attuned to it's past lives - thinks to itself.


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